MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that it has received and will review an application submitted by the village of Somers in Kenosha County to divert Lake Michigan water for municipal needs.

The proposed diversion is for the Somers Water Utility to extend public water service to areas of the village within the Mississippi River basin that do not currently have public water supply. The village of Somers straddles the divide between the Lake Michigan basin and Mississippi River basin.

The village of Somers proposes to divert up to an annual average of 1.2 million gallons of water per day. According to the application, Somers Water Utility would purchase water to divert from the Kenosha Water Utility.

The application also indicates that the water in the diversion area would be returned to Lake Michigan by means of the City of Kenosha’s Wastewater Treatment Plant and would be treated by that facility to meet all applicable water quality standards.

Straddling community diversion applications are regulated under the Great Lakes Compact. The process allows communities that straddle the Great Lakes basin divide to apply to divert Great Lakes water with return flow to the Great Lakes. This type of proposal is different from the Waukesha diversion proposal and does not require the approval of the other Great Lakes governors.

A public hearing and public comment period will be scheduled on the diversion proposal at a future date.

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